Protestors outside the grounds of the Luxton Pro Rodeo

Luxton rodeo protesters want changes

Protest aimed at specific events, such as calf and team roping, steer wrestling and the use of a flank strap

Melissa de Meulles spent her weekend at the Luxton fair grounds, but she didn’t go to the rodeo.

Instead, she stood just outside the grounds, holding a sign that read: “Animals in pain, shouldn’t entertain.”

This is the first time de Meulles has protested a rodeo. After starting a public Facebook event, she was joined by 10 people on Saturday and seven people Sunday.

“I was fully prepared to stand there by myself,” said de Meulles, a Colwood resident.

Pete Montana, general manager of Canadian Pro Rodeo Association, attended the Luxton Pro Rodeo this year and was told there would be protesters.

“They were very orderly and they have a right to free speech,” Montana said. “We do an awful lot to take care of our stock. They get treated better than the stock handlers treat themselves …  Most of the time (protesters get) terrible misinformation.”

De Meulles isn’t opposed to the entire rodeo. It’s specific events and practices such as calf and team roping, steer wrestling and the use of a flank strap.

“The flank strap is an irritant that cause them to buck … they are not wild animals,” de Meulles said.

Calf roping was banned at the Cloverdale Rodeo after a calf died during a roping event in 2007, de Meulles explained.

“Rodeos can continue to operate without these cruel events.”

De Meulles will work for her cause and it she doesn’t see any improvements, she plans to protest again next year.

An online petition has been started by de Meulle at www.change.org (search Luxton Pro Rodeo).

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

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